jock-smith-memorialOn Being A Black Lawyer was honored to salute NAACP LDF head, John Payton, in our OBABL Power 100.  Mr. Payton is one of many great social engineers the legal community has lost in the last year. Fellow OBABL Power 100 honoree Jock Smith passed away this year. He was Co-founder, National Partner and President of The Cochran Firm and managing partner of the firm’s Tuskegee, Alabama office. Mr. Smith passed away on Sunday morning, January 8, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Yvette Smiley- Smith and his daughter, Janay Smith. Mr. Smith was 63. Read more

In addition to losing Derek Bell this past year, we lost a number of other warriors:

o289641halljpg-643fcca959dfacb0Gary Anthony Hall May 16, 2011 Gary Anthony Hall, 67, of New York City and Fayetteville, departed this life Monday in New York City. He was presently employed as chief counsel for the NBA Players Association. He was formerly United States Attorney for Northern California and prior to that assistant district attorney for Alameda County, also in California. Read More

perry-obit-articleinline2Matthew Perry, a civil rights lawyer who went from sitting in the courtroom balcony waiting for his cases to be heard because he was black to having the federal courthouse in Columbia named in his honor, has died. He was 89. SunTimes
5997210001Virginia Supreme Court Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell Sr., a Norfolk native and Harvard Law School graduate who rose to become the court’s first black chief justice, died Wednesday in Richmond. He was 55 and had had an undisclosed illness for some time. VaPilot

071411obit2Curtis Calvin Carson Jr., 91, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge and a civil rights advocate, died of heart failure June 19 at Stapely, a retirement residence in Germantown.

Judge Carson was a senior judge in the court when he retired in 1995. He was appointed to the court in 1971 by Gov. Milton J. Shapp and was elected to successive terms until becoming a senior judge in 1990. ChestnutHill

9511300-largeH.J. Belton Hamilton was the grandson of a slave, born in the Deep South when legalized discrimination limited what a black boy could do or even dream of…Hamilton himself was the first African American to graduate from Stanford University in 1949 and went on to become the first black assistant state attorney general, the first black federal administrative law judge in Oregon, and board president of the Urban League of Portland, all while mentoring future lawyers and judges, serving as a leader in his church and various civic groups, and integrating his interracial family into the fabric of his suburban neighborhood and schools. Oregon


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